Night Guards To Protect Teeth And Gums
The daily stresses of life, especially over the last 2 years, has taken a great toll on our bodies as well as our teeth. Unfortunately, I have seen more of this as many of our patients present with damage to their teeth, fillings and crowns. It maybe as simple as a chip in a tooth, a filling that has cracked, or general wearing down due to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Even if you don’t think you clench and/or grind your teeth during the day, it could indeed be happening at night.
So how can you protect your teeth and fillings to make them last an entire lifetime? A NIGHT GUARD.
What is a Night Guard?
Night guards are retainer-like soft or hard plastic devices that covers either the top or bottom set of teeth. The night guard cushions your teeth from the forces of clenching and grinding (also know as bruxism) and prevent the teeth from grinding together. This can also help in preventing headaches and inflammation to the gums.
Signs of Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Signs and symptoms that you may be a grinder
Here are a few:
- A headache upon waking up
- Sore or tight jaw or facial muscles
- Chipped teeth
- A feeling of “loose” teeth
- Discomfort when chewing
- Recession unexplained by incorrect brushing leading to sensitive teeth along the gemlike
- Abfraction along the gum-line which is breakdown of the tooth enamel along gum
If you or your dentists suspects damage from nightly grinding and clenching a night guard would be recommended to wear while you sleep.
Types of Night Guards
There are two main types of night guards.
The more common but less effective option is to purchase a “boil and bite” guard from a drug store. You can make this by placing the mouth guard in hot water to soften it up after which you then place it in your mouth and bite down to create an impression of your teeth. These guards are typically thick and bulky. I find patient compliance is low.
The second and more effective option is to have your dentist create a custom night guard. Customized guards tend to be of higher quality and are custom-made to your teeth. Your dentist will take an impression or a scan of your teeth and send the mold to a dental laboratory where they will create a custom-fitted night guard just for you. Before sending you home with your new night guard, your dentist will ensure the fit of your guard make any necessary adjustments. Overall, a custom night guard will fit you better and provide optimal protection throughout the night.
Next time you are in the office let us know if you are feeling any wear and tear on your teeth and ask us how we can help.
LETS US KEEP YOU SMILING ....